CIO/CEO link strengthening

A recent survey commissioned by the Society for Information Management (SIM) demonstrates a significant shift over the past two years in the reporting structure for CIOs at companies with under US$1 billion in annual revenue. Most now report directly to the CEO.

The survey, which included responses from nearly 250 senior IT leaders, found that at 55 percent of responding companies with under US$1 billion in revenue, the CIO reports to the CEO, whereas at 23 percent, the CIO reports to the CFO. Two years ago, the CEO and CFO were equally likely to be the CIO’s boss, at 41 percent each.

“We’re definitely seeing a change in hierarchy for those smaller organizations,” said Jerry N. Luftman, Ph.D, of the Stevens Institute of Technology. “For the smaller shops, that direct link between CIOs and CEOs is growing, although the larger corporations have stayed consistent with their reporting dynamic.”

Among CIOs at companies with revenue of more than US$1 billion, 41 percent of CIOs report to the CEO while 36 percent report to the CFO and 11 percent report to the COO. Another 2 percent report to the business unit and the rest have “other” arrangements. Those figures, SIM said, have been consistent for the past two years.

“As I speak with members regarding a variety of IT and professional issues, it has become evident that this rising reporting trend has had significant impact on the transition of the CIO’s role from the computer room to the board room within their organizations,” said SIM Executive Director, Jim Luisi.

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